Several years ago I heared a conservative, Christian  make the snide comment, “Well, that’s an American for you…”  I have heard this type of comment many times, sadly many times from Christians.  I know what they mean; I understand they also are good, patriotic citizens; but I wholeheartedly disagree with their sarcastic perspective.  Right then and there as I sat in that Bible study, I wrote the following retort that I wished I could have said…

We are American.

What does that mean?

Many people disparage the idea; it is spoken with slight disgust and small contempt. These people hear “American” and immediately think of large houses, greedy, wanting more, buy now, don’t wait, step on the little man on the way to the top, big and fat with wealth and food, godless, believers of evolution, forgetting Christian heritage, politically hopeless, a “has been” Christian nation, spiritually wasted, party hardy, no thought for the future, relationally poor, possessions, enjoying wealth with no thought for the suffering.

Yes, I am American. But proud of it.

The Pilgrims – those who left home, country, friends, family; bore sickness, poverty, war, death all for their future and their children’s future.

The Patriots – those who left family and safety, possessions and comfort, friends and power all for the future and their children’s future.

The Pioneers – those who left the East’s riches for a better life.  They were hardy and strong, lived in houses of dirt, fought for home and family.  Months of hot, dusty, uncomfortable wagons, heating their homes with manure.

The survivors of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl – living on little, making do.  Christmases of fruit and nuts, a can-do attitude.

The Greatest Generation – years of separation from husbands, friends, lovers, brothers, fathers, sons.  Men facing a cruel death in battle, huddling in wet and cold fox holes with bombs screaming overhead, a buddy killed next to you.

The Soldier – boys killing, boys fighting…for the oppressed, the helpless and broken.  Japan, Germany and France.  The Philippines, China, England, Italy.  Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East.  Iraq and Afghanistan.  Lives have been offered, fortunes have been given to free, to help, to lift up the downtrodden.

Has  America changed since 1776?  Of course.  Do we face spiritual opposition?  Absolutely.  Are we still the greatest nation who gives its sons and daughters for others’ freedom?

Yes, that is an American for you.  And we should thank God everyday for such an incredible blessing.

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